A military official told Xinhua on Wednesday that dozens of people were either killed or injured as the Houthi rebel fighters press on with their assault against Yemen’s oil-rich province of Marib.
According to the Xinhua news agency, the local military source said on condition of anonymity: “Daily casualties highly increased as the Houthi militia continued in attacking the government-controlled city of Marib from various directions in a coordinated plan.”
During the past 48 hours, the government forces backed by local tribal fighters repelled several coordinated Houthi attacks on the outskirts of Marib.
He said: “More than 67 Houthi rebels were killed by the government forces shelling and also airstrikes carried out by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition.”
He added that the government forces lost nearly 20 of their soldiers in confronting the Houthi attacks aimed at capturing the strategic city of Marib.
Another Yemeni official told Xinhua that “most of the Houthi attacks concentrated on the northern and western sides of Marib despite the heavy airstrikes targeting their sites.”
In Rahbah area located in Marib’s southern side, the fighting continues heavily between the two warring rivals with intensified Saudi-led airstrikes.
The Houthis began in February a major offensive on Marib in an attempt to seize control of the oil-rich province, the government’s last northern stronghold.
The Xinhua noted that Yemen’s civil war flared up in late 2014 when the Iran-backed Houthi group seized control of much of the country’s north and forced the internationally recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi out of the capital Sanaa.
It mentioned that the Saudi-led Arab coalition intervened in the Yemeni conflict in March 2015 to support Hadi’s government.